Flexing their long bodies up and down, paddling with their webbed hind feet, and using their feet and strong tails to steer, river otters are underwater acrobats. Sighting one can be an exciting occasion for boaters, fisher- men and other outdoor enthusiasts because of the creature’s secretive nature and relative rarity in some waters. Our organization is not affiliated with any other otter-related research group or community outreach organization. The river otter's life expectancy is 10 to 15 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity. The North American river otter’s body length ranges from 66 to 107 centimetres (26 to 42 in). A newly published study reveals that river otters (Lontra canadensis) now inhabit most of their historic range in the U.S. and, more importantly, that no states are reporting declining otter populations. River otters reach maturity around two years of age. The North American river otter use a wide range of vocalizations, including whistles and buzzes to twitters, staccato chuckles, chirps and growls. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. North American river otters live in freshwater and coastal marine habitats including rivers, lakes, marshes, swamps, and estuaries. Like their ocean-faring relatives, the sea otters, river otters belong to the mustelid family (weasels, skunks, badgers and more). An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). They live alone or in family groups, typically females and their young. North American river otters have long, streamlined bodies, thick tapered tails, and short legs. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. Birds and birds’ eggs, as well as small terrestrial mammals may also be eaten. Other Otter Facts . Additional resources 1. The North American river otter’s main prey is fish, which it usually catches during the day. They have short legs, webbed feet for faster swimming, and a long, narrow body and flattened head for streamlined movement in the water. Otters are slender, streamlined, and flexible, which serves them well for a life in underground tunnels, and waters often congested with floating debris and aquatic plants. Birds, their eggs, and small terrestrial mammals are also eaten on occasion. It lives in a den, which can be made in a riverside burrow, under rocks or plants, or in a beaver’s home (lodge). The vibrissae are long and thick, reflecting their importance in sensory perception. They mainly escape predation through their agility in the water and on land, their vigilance, and their ability to fiercely defend themselves and their young. Only one otter species seems to be thriving, and that's the North American River Otter. River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as small land mammals and birds. They are found throughout most of North America – from the Rio Grande in Northern Mexico to Canada and Alaska. Beginning with newborn stage and then mature stage. It is found throughout North America, inhabiting inland waterways and coastal areas in Canada, the Pacific Northwest, the Atlantic states, and the Gulf of Mexico. The North American river otter is one of the most playful, curious, and active species of otter. The adult male weighs around 11.3 kg (25 lb); while the female weighs up to 8.3 kg (18 lb). The River Otter Ecology Project is a registered 501 (c)(3) EIN #45-4997526 non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of river otters and our watershed. The toes are fully webbed, and the tail (one-third of body length) is tapered. The throat and cheeks are usually a golden brown. Their habitats can be both marine and freshwater. They open their eyes at one month of age and are weaned at about 3 months old. Birds, their eggs, and small terrestrial mammals are also eaten on occasion. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. These sanctuaries help ill and injured otters to recover. They become much more nocturnal in the spring, summer, and fall seasons, and more diurnal during winter. North American river otters are excellent swimmers and divers, able to stay underwater for up to 8 minutes. They have become a popular exhibit in zoos and aquaria, but unwelcome on agricultural land because they alter river banks for their access, sliding, and defense. The North American river otter was one of the most hunted animals for its fur after Europeans arrived. Some jurisdictions have made otters a protected species in some areas, and some places have otter sanctuaries. Diet Carnivore. Stable Threatened Endangered . They can grow to over 1.5m (5ft) long. North American river otters are excellent swimmers and divers, able to stay underwater for up to 8 minutes. The North American river otter, also known as the northern river otter or the common otter, is a species of otter. The river otter has a long slender body, which is ideal for swimming and sliding. Their thick fur is both water-repellent and an effective insulator against temperature extremes. Fun Facts: The river otter is non-territorial, but it still marks around its home range using feces and urine as a form of communication. They can close their nostrils and ears when swimming or diving. It weigh from 8.5 to 12 kg (19 to 26 lbs). They … It ranges from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, according to the Defenders of Wildlife. They are also fast on land, capable of running at up to 30 km/h (19 miles). They begin to leave their natal range at from 6 months to a year old. It is found throughout North America, inhabiting inland waterways and coastal areas in Canada, the Pacific Northwest, the Atlantic states, and the Gulf of Mexico. They are also fast on land, capable of running at up to 30 km/h (19 miles). And you definitely don’t want to mess with giant otters, just check out this clip below! The North American river otter, also known as the northern river otter or the common otter, is a species of otter. North American River Otters (Lontra canadensis) Hello, it’s Team SeaDoc member, Mira, marine scientist, diver, and lover of all things ocean, especially Salish Sea creatures! They sometimes eat aquatic plants. In fact, the study reveals the river otter may actually be … North American river otters build dens in the burrows of other mammals, in natural hollows, such as under a log, or in river banks. In the late 1980s, North American river otters were considered extinct throughout many of their natural habitats. In contrast to their very s… The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. The North American river otter is the most numerous of all the species. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also called the Canadian otter, is the most abundant species of otter. Gestation lasts two months, but the young may be born up to a year after mating because these otters employ delayed implantation. 90% of the sea otters are present on the coast of Alaska. They are born with fur, but are otherwise helpless. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. Range. River otters generally live along rivers, as their name implies, but they're also found near streams and lakes.Otters prefer water bordered by woods and with wetlands, such as marshes, nearby. North American river otters seem to be sensitive to pollution and disappear from areas with polluted waters. North American River Otters are large compared to most other semi-aquatic mammals, and adults can be as long as 5 feet and weigh more than 30 pounds. The North American river otters are carnivores, they eat mainly aquatic animals such as amphibians, turtles, fish, crayfish, crabs, and other species of invertebrates. The vibrissae are long and thick, reflecting their importance in sensory perception. They mainly escape predation through their agility in the water and on land, their vigilance, and their ability to fiercely defend themselves and their young. Facts About the North American River Otter. The North American river otter's body is built for streamlined swimming. North American river otters seem to be sensitive to pollution and disappear from areas with polluted waters. North American River Otters are very playful creatures; this is why they are a favorite attraction for kids at zoos where they can often be observed playing games. They can tolerate a great range of temperature and elevations. The North American river otter lives along riverbanks, lakeshores, and coasts. The average lifespan for North American river otters is from 8 to 9 years in the wild, while in captivity individuals may live up to 25 years. Gestation lasts two months, but the young may be born up to a year after mating because these otters employ delayed implantation. American River Otter Lutra canadensis lataxina The American river otter is a graceful and beautiful addition to many North Carolina rivers. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Otters are playful animals, often seen burrowing through the snow, sliding through mud and splashing in the water. The toes are fully webbed, and the tail (one-third of body length) is tapered. Their population is considered stable and IUCN lists it as ‘least concern’. Let's take a closer look at this playful creature. North American river otters are known for their boundless energy, and they must eat frequently. The weight of a North American river otter measures around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). North American River Otter The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Most are dark brown in color, with lighter patches on their throats and chests. Even though otters are considered land mammals, they spend a lot of their time in the water and are specially adapted to fishing in cold northern waters. It weigh from 8.5 to 12 kg (19 to 26 lbs). The North American river otter, also known as the northern river otter or the common otter, is a species of otter. The life expectancy for an otter is about 8-9 years. North American river otters can reach a length of 3.9 ft and weigh 3 lbs. The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. It uses its long vibrissae (whiskers) to find prey in murky water. They are used extensively in hunting, as smell, vision, and hearing are diminished in the water. They can grow to over 5ft (1.5m) long. Around one-third of an otter’s body is composed of a tail. They have wide, rounded heads, small ears, and nostrils that can be closed underwater. The fur is dark brown to almost black above and a lighter color ventrally. They … The average lifespan for North American river otters is from 8 to 9 years in the wild, while in captivity individuals may live up to 25 years. Many "play" activities actually serve a purpose; some strengthen social bonds, others practice hunting techniques or serve to scent mark. River Otter Facts. They sometimes eat aquatic plants. Males and females come together to breed in late winter or early spring. Dens have underwater entrances and a tunnel leading to a nest chamber that is lined with leaves, grass, moss, bark, and hair. The North American river otter's body length ranges from 66 to 107 centimetres (26 to 42 in). These otters are active year-round, and are most active at night and during crepuscular hours. River otters can stay under water for as long as 8 minutes. It is found throughout North America, inhabiting inland waterways and coastal areas in Canada, the Pacific Northwest, the Atlantic states, and the Gulf of Mexico. The North American river otter use a wide range of vocalizations, including whistles and buzzes to twitters, staccato chuckles, chirps and growls. They live in riparian zones, which are the areas that border stream, rivers, and lakes. The North American river otter’s body length ranges from 66 to 107 centimetres (26 to 42 in). The length of a tail … North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. Sea otters have also been hunted in large numbers for their fur. North American river otters are sometimes taken by bobcats, coyotes, birds of prey, alligators, and other large predators. North American river otters live in freshwater and coastal marine habitats including rivers, lakes, marshes, swamps, and estuaries. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), or the common otter, is an aquatic mammal native to only North America in the countries Canada, and the United States.River otters are a distant relative of the weasel family. It is recognized by its powerful neck and elongated body. They catch fish in their mouths and detect other prey by feeling with their whiskers along the bottoms of streams. The most threatened species of otters are the hairy-nosed otters. The North American river otter lives along riverbanks, lakeshores, and coasts. Dens have underwater entrances and a tunnel leading to a nest chamber that is lined with leaves, grass, moss, bark, and hair. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. The Giant otter is found in South America around the Amazon river basin. Juvenile otters usually remain with the female until she bears her next litter the following spring. North American river otters build dens in the burrows of other mammals, in natural hollows, such as under a log, or in river banks. Instead air is trapped in their fur which keeps them warm. Warm air trapped in a sea otter’s fur keeps them warm in chilly waters.When otters dive, they seal their ears and nose.The word otter comes from Old English and Indo European root words that were also used to create the English word for water.Otters have the densest fur in the world. Juvenile otters usually remain with the female until she bears her next litter the following spring. It’s not unusual to see a mother otter with her cubs, but families aside, it depends on the species. They have become a popular exhibit in zoos and aquaria, but unwelcome on agricultural land because they alter river banks for their access, sliding, and defense. 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